ST. PETERSBURG — The answer to the question of whether LHP David Price will still be a member of the Tampa Bay Rays after Thursday’s trade deadline is still unknown.
“It’s here,” Price said of the trade deadline Tuesday. “I guess we’ll have some answers here in the next couple of days. We’ll see how it goes.”
Speculation about Price’s future with the Rays has hovered over the team since the end of the 2013 season. In January, the former AL Cy Young Award winner signed a one-year, $14 million contract, the largest single-season contract in franchise history, to avoid arbitration.
While the world of baseball awaits an outcome, the anticipation isn’t affecting Price, who starts today, and maybe for the last time in a Rays uniform, against the Milwaukee Brewers.
“Not really (affected me), just continue to be the same person at the field every day,” Price said. “This is what I love to do, and I’m not going to let this stuff get me down. That’s no fun. I just go out here, work hard and try to get my team a chance to win every fifth day and hopefully it’s in a Rays uniform.”
With the team on a hot streak, the thought of losing their most prized player, or any player, is something Rays manager Joe Maddon doesn’t want his players to dwell on, especially during a win streak.
“I don’t want to be distracted from my job either,” Maddon said. “I don’t want the players to be distracted from their jobs. If it happens, it happens. In your profession, you listen to it, you understand why and then you move on.”